Protest is taking a new form in Gujarat. 16 members of Dalit community attempted suicide in protest against four men from the community were beaten up for skinning dead cows near Una.
Suicide attempts were reported from Junagadh, Kesod, Ahmedabad and Godhal on Tuesday. One amongst these was local Congress leader Anil Madhad. According to local news agency Sandesh, one Hemant Bhika Solanki died after drinking poison in Khambaliya village, Bhesan.
Protestors blocked a national highway and set state transport busses on fire. While, clashes between protestors and the police were also reported from Amreli District.
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The Gujarat government had earlier suspended four police officers for negligence about the beating of the Dalit community members. The government has also ordered a probe by Criminal Investigation Department.
The incident that triggered all this was the when four men from Dalit community was beaten up. The victims were skinning a dead cow they had bought, when around six men intervened and started asking them how and where they got it. They accused the Dalits of killing the animal and started thrashing them. A video showing the incident, ironically uploaded by an accused himself, went viral on social media. Apparently, the accused wanted to caution people against killing cows. The accused belong to a cow protection committee in the area.
Ahmed Patel, a Congress leader, said, “People who have faced violence need to be given justice. Failure of authorities to protect Dalits in Gujarat is absolutely shocking. Is it the Gujarat Model? Independent probe is the need of the hour.”
The protest is spreading throughout Gujarat and this is a cause of worry for everyone.
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